Cancer Research UK, Cancer Research Technology (CRT), and Bicycle Therapeutics, a biotechnology company pioneering a new class of therapeutics based on its proprietary bicyclic peptide (Bicycle®) product platform, have announced an agreement to trial a first-in-class drug for cancers of high unmet need.
Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development (CDD) will sponsor and fund a Phase Ia and Phase Ib clinical trial for a drug called BT1718, a Bicycle Drug Conjugate® (BDC) being developed by Bicycle Therapeutics, in patients with advanced solid tumours. BT1718 targets Membrane Type 1 Matrix Metalloproteinase (MT1-MTP) which is highly expressed in many solid tumours, including triple negative breast cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.
Dr. Udai Banaji, Principal Investigator for the Phase I trial, said: “I’m very excited to be involved in the first clinical study of BT1718. Based on the impressive pre-clinical data, I look forward to evaluating the clinical utility of BT1718, the first of a new class of agents that specifically targets tumour cells using a bicyclic peptide linked to an anticancer agent.”
The trial will be co-managed by Cancer Research UK and Bicycle Therapeutics. Under the terms of the agreement, Bicycle retains the right to further advance the BT1718 programme, and can license the results of the trial for an undisclosed amount split between cash and equity, success based milestones and royalty payments to Cancer Research UK.
Dr Kevin Lee, chief executive officer of Bicycle Therapeutics, said: “Through this important collaboration we aim to advance BT1718 through Phase I trials, generating a robust dataset to drive the programme forward. We’re excited to have developed this innovative relationship with Cancer Research UK that allows us access to their extensive network of collaborators and world class expertise to fully explore the potential of this new and transformative class of treatment for cancer patients.”
Dr Nigel Blackburn, Cancer Research UK’s, director of drug development, said: “Finding new ways to target difficult-to-treat cancers is a crucially important area of research and a priority for Cancer Research UK. Through this collaboration, we hope we can speed up the development of therapies for patients who urgently need new treatment options.”